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Federal government offers coronavirus relief money to Atlantic Canadian businesses

Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Melanie Joly rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. The federal and Ontario governments have reached a deal on funding a new French-language university in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang.
Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Melanie Joly rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. The federal and Ontario governments have reached a deal on funding a new French-language university in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The federal government is setting aside new money to help small and medium-sized businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides $962 million nationwide in relief for manufacturing, technology, tourism and other companies which did not qualify for other pandemic-related relief programs.

Businesses in Atlantic Canada will have access to up to $110 million of that money through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

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ACOA Minister Melanie Joly said it’s important to assist as many businesses as possible during a challenging and uncertain time.

“Every time we’re saving a business, we’re saving jobs,” Joly said. “And we’re saving people’s livelihoods. So that’s why we want people to access our measures. Sometimes the way we organize programs is a bit more complicated and we wanted be more nimble, more flexible.”

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Joly said she sought input from numerous business leaders throughout the region because certain segments of Atlantic Canada’s business sector have been hit harder than sectors in other regions.

Joly said the funding is available now, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Minister Melanie Joly unveils details on regional development funding
Minister Melanie Joly unveils details on regional development funding